PHOENIX, Arizona, January 25. SEVERAL of the NCAA’s top swimming and diving teams will compete this weekend, as the dual meet season wraps up in preparation for the conference championships in a few weeks. The reigning men’s and women’s NCAA champions from UC-Berkeley are in Arizona this weekend to race Pac-12 teams Arizona today and Arizona State on Saturday. Stanford University is doing the opposite, racing Arizona State today and Arizona on Saturday. Let’s hope the two bitter rivals don’t have a confrontation somewhere on Interstate 10 driving in opposite directions between Tucson and Tempe. Today’s Cal vs. Arizona meet will mark Tom Shields’ first collegiate meet of his senior year, after taking the fall season off to compete in the World Cup and world championships.
Tomorrow will feature a great dual meet between Southeastern Conference rivals Auburn and Florida in Alabama, where the Florida men’s middle-distance aces will try to outscore Auburn’s depth in the sprint events. On the women’s side, Florida looks to have the advantage, though Auburn is undefeated in dual meets this season and will likely want to continue that streak.
Also on Saturday is another SEC showdown between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers. Georgia looks to have the edge in both the men’s and women’s meets, boasting Olympians on each side, but Tennessee will be tough to beat home.
In more college news, junior national champion Dylan Carter announced today that he’ll be a Trojan at the University of Southern California, adding that he’ll step into the LA campus in January 2014. Carter will continue to train at his new home base at Davie Nadadores through the end of this year, getting more short course yards preparation for his collegiate debut. Carter came from Trinidad this summer in a bid to acclimate to short course yards swimming with a goal of being ready for college swimming. Carter won the 200 free and 100 back at juniors last December.